Is your Android phone hiding security updates from you?

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Researcher Karsten Nohl said, "We find that there's a gap between patching claims and the actual patches installed on a device".

Over 1200 random devices were tested, and several devices were found to be lacking multiple security updates, which is critical for the phone's security, making it vulnerable to multiple hacks.

If we talk about smartphone processors, Taiwan's MediaTek company topped the chart on missing the patches. "And it's time to start verifying vendor claims about the security of our devices", SRL writes.

This morning, a report came out explaining that a research firm discovered some Android OEMs were lying to customers about their device's current security patch.

What's The Story Of Android's Security Patches All About?

Xiaomi, Nokia, HTC, Motorola and LG all made the list, as well, while TCL and ZTE fared the worst in the study, with, on average, not having installed more than four of the patches they claimed to have installed on a given device.

Device fragmentation has always been a challenge for Google when releasing updates for its Android platform, which is by far and away the most popular mobile software on the planet.

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Android has consistently struggled to get smartphone manufacturers and carriers to push out security-focused updates on a regular basis, but this new research reveals the extent to which major brands have fallen behind. More disturbingly, they found out that manufacturers also tell users that their phone's firmware is fully up to date, even while they've skipped patches. "Probably for marketing reasons, they just set the patch level to nearly an arbitrary date, whatever looks best", Nohl is quoted as saying. At times it was found that vendors didn't even install a single patch, but only changed the date of the update by forwarding it by several months. Compared to flagships, cheaper phones are found to be skipping more patches, which also tend to use cheaper chips.

The AI butler that is programmed inside Android 8.1 Oreo has gone through great lengths in improving its services but a bug has prevented it from executing one particular task - playing a song from your Google Music library.

ZTE and TCL are among the worst offenders, followed by HTC, LG, Motorola, and Huawei.

Nohl said that this "deliberate deception" wasn't as common as vendors simply forgetting to update their devices.

Google told Wired, "some of the devices SRL analyzed may not have been Android certified devices, meaning they're not held to Google's standards of security". Other protections include app sandboxing, Google Play Protect, and the Android ecosystem's diversity.

While criminals typically rely on social engineering to attempt to steal data from users, through malicious apps and the like, state-sponsored actors are more likely to exploit missed patches as part of their attacks using previously unknown methods, the researchers say.



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